Doug Tranter Cup Final
Jersey Athletic 50 Jersey United Banks
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Jersey Athletic 36 LQ Lydian Lions 12
As the JRA league got underway, Jersey Athletic, JRFC's renamed
second string, took on a Lydian Lions side who were leaner and
meaner than last season and scenting a victory over their old
The game started in typically attritional fashion, both sides
fielding big packs and eager to attain dominance early on.
Over-enthusiasm at the ruck led to Les Q straying offside and
conceding a couple of penalties which allowed Athletic to control
field position in the opening quarter. Les Q came back strongly
however with some bullocking runs from front rower Martyn Hawkes,
scattering defenders in his wake until he was forced from the field
with an early injury.
The deadlock remained until Jersey capitalised on further Lion's
indiscipline at the ruck, referee Ollie Gleave awarding a penalty.
From the resulting line out Mark White slipped a neat inside pass
to unleash winger Dr Wyn Roberts (above) across the gain line. A
sniff of the try line was all the debutant needed as he combined
pace and footwork to finish in the corner.
Athletic immediately pressed their advantage, the forwards
mauling powerfully into the Lions 22 before the ball was spread to
the Jamie Allan in the backs who was stopped 5 metres short by a
superb tackle from his opposite number James Worsley. Young number
8 Tim Corson was first to react as he scooped the ball up mid
stride and drove over the line to put the A's two scores ahead.
Rather than capitulate this only served to invigorate the LQ
side as they upped the pace of their game, lively scrum half Nick
Portch marshalling his forwards well and demanding quick ball. Now
they were on the front foot, the backs were able to punch holes in
the Jersey defence with Tommy Butler putting powerful centre Kevan
Crowell through a gap and stampeding for the try line. A's full
back James Milner was able to drag him towards touch but not before
he offloaded to centre partner Worsley who went in under the posts,
to the delight of his team-mates and the travelling support.
Les Q continued to pressure the Jersey line but a key turnover
just before half time allowed Tim Corson to break from 40 metres
for his second try and the teams turned round with Athletic
relieved to be enjoying a little breathing space, leading 17-7.
The second half opened with a flurry of pressure from the Lions
who, with improved discipline, were now earning penalties from the
A's. This allowed them to lay siege to the Jersey line and the
forwards engaged in a monumental battle as the Jersey pack
desperately defended wave after wave lead by the carrying of Sam
Coe from number 8. Ironically after all the hard work done by the
big men it took a winger to finally score, Leigh Cornish skipping
past several of his former academy team mates and diving over to
the left of the posts to bring the Lions within five points.
Barely had Jersey restarted when the quick thinking Portch again
broke down the left flank and put Butler into space, only a
scrambled clearing kick by Allan saving Jersey after his chip and
chase. The Lions turned again to their rolling maul but Jersey
responded strongly, managing to split the drive until evergreen
captain Ian Henderson put in a try saving tackle on Poe and held
him up over the line.
The narrow escape allowed Jersey to clear their lines and march
downfield. From a scrum on the halfway line Sion Williams fed
Roberts down the blind side and the flying doctor stepped three
defenders on his way to his second try under the posts. Clearly
inspired by the winger's finishing, Corson broke from the base of a
scrum a few minutes later and was able to outpace the cover defence
for his hat-trick try to put the game almost out of sight with five
There was time for one more Jersey score as another Roberts'
break lead to the ball being spread wide on the right, the centres
roles being played by front rowers 'Cubie' Kenwright and Bruno
Pirouet, until Allan jogged over unopposed. Will Falle (pictured
above on the charge) notched the conversion, his third of the
The Lions almost had the last say in the match as excellent
debutant centre Crowell broke strongly again and was brought down
just short of the Jersey line. With the final whistle Les Q were
left to dwell on opportunities missed and plan their revenge for
the return fixture.
Doug Tranter Cup Final
Jersey Athletic 50 Jersey United Banks 12
The first game of the season saw a strong Jersey Athletic team
take the field eager to defend the Doug Tranter Cup in a match held
over from last season. The occasion held particular significance
given that club stalwart Sheila Tranter, widow of former president
Doug, had passed away last month.
Early exchanges were fairly even with both Jersey and Banks
using their big ball carriers to make inroads but struggling to
convert territory into points.
The deadlock was finally broken with a sweeping Jersey backs
move unleashing Henry Frost down the middle of the park. Good work
from the Banks full-back prevented him touching down but he was
able to offload to Jamie Allan for the score.
A lack of match practice was evident as Jersey were unable to
press home their advantage and continued to cough up possession
through unforced errors. Banks responded by sending Charlie
Clyde-Smith and Greg Herold-Howes on rampaging runs through the
Jersey defence which were narrowly thwarted by key turnovers. Ross
'Cubie' Kenwright was particularly prominent in the rucks and
continued to make a powerful nuisance of himself all afternoon.
Some good interplay from the Jersey backs led to a breakdown
into midfield. The ball popped out to A's full back Jamie Crawford
who sighted an unmarked Matt Hill on the right flank. An
inch-perfect cross-field kick allowed the lightning quick Jersey
winger to outstrip the cover defence and touch down under the posts
for the first of his three tries for the afternoon.
Newly converted forward Luke Trotter then got in on the action
following a quickly taken tap penalty by scrum half Sion Williams -
giving a Sonny-Bill-esque offload before working around to receive
the scoring pass himself.
Banks were to have the final say of the half though as their
forwards once again battled downfield. The front row of Shawn
Queripel, Phil Matete and Andy Duke had matched their opposite
numbers in the scrum with aplomb and now took to charging at a
placid Jersey defensive line making heavy inroads. The move
culminated in number 8 George Banks barrelling over the Jersey line
for their first score of the afternoon.
Half time saw the introduction of old head Josh Chamier in the
front row and Harry Cochrane at scrum half with many supporters
keen to see how the highly rated youngster would perform in his
senior debut. The answer was 'superbly' as the A's put together 10
minutes of scintillating rugby
culminating in 3 quick tries. First Chamier unleashed Matt Hill
down the touchline for his second following several big drives from
Tim Corson and Jamie Allan.
Jersey then returned the subsequent kick off with the ball
passing through every pair of hands until Banks simply ran out of
defenders allowing Jamie Crawford to saunter over the line
Finally young Cochrane, who was enjoying a great tussle with
opposite number Rob Allen, took matters into his own hands and
broke down a tiny blindside from a scrum on the halfway line.
Escaping the back row with excellent footwork he then beat winger
Ed Le Gallais in the narrowest of spaces before outpacing the Banks
full back to the corner for a score that even had the visiting
supporters begrudgingly applauding.
To their credit Banks didn't crumble under this pressure and
came back with renewed vigour lead by influential captain Rory
Steel. They forced penalty after penalty from the A's and piled
pressure on near the Jersey line. Another Kenwright turnover seemed
to have got Jersey out of trouble but as they tried to play out
from their own try line Charlie Clyde-Smith intercepted and
strolled under the posts for the most casual of scores.
Jersey remained in the ascendancy at the end of the game though.
Firstly through Matt Hill's hat trick try and finally after former
Academy team-mates Allan and Chamier combined strongly down the
middle of the park allowing the ball to be recycled quickly to
Corson flying down the wing, the rangey number 8 earning his reward
for an afternoon of hard graft.
Both teams had played to the end in a great spirit and with no
little show of skill. As winning captain Ian Henderson pointed out
as he accepted the trophy: "It was exactly the sort of game the
Tranters would have loved!"
Words: James Milner; Pics: Will Grant
23 Mar 2023
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